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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

League 1


Football League restructuring scrapped

Plans for a restructuring of the Football League into a five league, 100-team competition have been scrapped after talks with the Football Association broke down.   The FA was not prepared to move FA Cup games to create more weekend slots for matches.

The plans were unpopular with the non-league system which would have lost its leading clubs.  Clubs might have found it difficult to financially sustain league membership.

Mystery of Council money for Cobblers

Northampton Council handed over £10.25m to Northampton Town despite concerns about the club's finances.   The money was meant to be for improvements to the stadium and a hotel to be built in the grounds.   What happened to it is now the subject of a police investigation.    The club is now under new ownership.

Bolton finances 'on right track'

Bolton Wanderers fans have been assured that the club's finances are 'on the right track'.   The club's accounts, which were due in March, have not been submitted to Companies House, but this should happen soon.   It is one of the factors delaying the lifting of a transfer embargo on the club.

Why would anyone buy Coventry City?

This is the question that has been posed by the Coventry Evening Telegraph.  Among their answers are the strength of the brand; a good catchment area with no rivals; low operating costs as tenants at the Ricoh; and a training ground that is a valuable asset.

Of course, one might ask why anyone would buy a football club.   Most owners lose money, with a few exceptions such as the leveraged buy out of Manchester United by the Glazers,

Checkatrade trophy still unpopular with fans

The latest series of matches in the Checkatrade or Football League trophy shows that the new format involving Premier League under 23 teams remains unpopular with fans.

The biggest attendance was at the derby between rivals Swindon Town and Oxford United at 2,698, but in fact it was the lowest attendance ever for a A420 derby.   Just 457 saw Barnet face Norwich City.   Portsmouth against Reading under 23s attracted the lowest attendance since 1945 and the 609 at Grimsby to see them play Leicester City under 23s was their lowest ever for a cup competition game.

Growing antagonism between owners and fans

Growing anatgonism between owners and fans is examined in this blog contribution with reference to the cases of Blackpool, Blackburn Rovers, Charlton Athletic and Coventry City.

In the case of Charlton it is ironic that fans have been referred to as 'customers' by the chief executive, yet there seems to be no concept of good customer relations beyond a series of gimmicks.

Millwall fans offered glimmer of hope

Milwall fans were offered a glimmer of hope over plans to develop land around The Den after Lewisham Council's scrutiny committee called in the planning application.   It is feared that the proposals would undermine the viability of the club.

Sky Blues should be sold

Coventry's local newspaper The Evening Telegraph has called for hedge fund Sisu to sell the club after nine years of 'disastrous' ownership.

The club is currently at the foot of League One.  Revenue has halved, the future tenure of the Ricoh Arena is uncertain, as is the fate of the Academy.    Relationships with fans and a range of relevant stakeholders have broken down.   This is in spite of £60m of investment in the club.

New problems for AFC Wimbledon on stadium move

AFC Wimbledon have encountered a new obstacle to their plan to move back to a new stadium at their historic home at Plough Lane.

The original planning application was 'called in' by London mayor Boris Johnson, but new mayor Sadiq Khan sent it back to Merton Council who have reaffirmed their support for the scheme.

Sky Blues future to be debated in Parliament

Coventry City's ability to play in Coventry in the future is to be discussed in a 'Westminster Hall' debate in the House of Commons.  Such debates provide an opportunity for MPs to raise constituency concerns.